Baby naming ceremonies
Naming ceremonies are carried out for both religious and non religious beliefs
Anglican Baptism (or Christening)
In Anglican and Roman Catholic churches a baptism may be held as a stand-alone ceremony or part of a Sunday morning service. You need to plan in reasonably good time as church schedules do get booked up. The church normally requires at least three godparents: two of the same sex as the child and one of th e opposite sex.
In the Catholic church you will be invited by the priest to attend a course of meetings to understand the full implications of being baptised into the Catholic Faith. It is more usual to have one male and one female godparent, who are all Catholic.
Ceremonies can take place in the synagogue or at home. Relatives and friends can attend the naming. The child’s godmother (Kvaterin) and godfather (Kvater) are also involved in the ceremony. Names are usually chosen to honour deceased members of the family, as well as a Hebrew name which will be used in the synagogue. The ceremony for boys, Brit Milah, takes place on the eighth day after birth, which is followed by the circumcision. Girls can be named on the eighth or fifteenth day after birth.
A naming ceremony (namkaran) is carried out at the temple or in the home. Gifts from guests are offered to the priest, temple or other deserving causes. At one year or 3 years old there may be a further ceremony which involves shaving the child’s head and may take place somewhere of religious significance. Visit www.indianhindunames.com.
The naming of the child (al-Tasmiya) is not accompanied by a ceremony. The name, however, should have been chosen by the seventh day after birth. It is traditional for there to be a slaughter (Aqeequah) two sheep for a boy and one for a girl - and a party is held. The seventh day is also the traditional day for boys to be circumcised. Some families also shave a baby’s head and for the value of the weight of the shorn hair in silver to be given to the poor. Visit www.muslim-names.co.uk for further information.
Non-Secular Naming Ceremonies
A number of parents are opting for non-religious events for naming ceremonies. These are relevant if you are unsure about promising to commit your child to a faith. Given that most parents do not have experience of these ceremonies they usually call in the experts. Visit www.civilceremonies.co.uk.
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